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The highly respected obesity expert, Dr. David Ludwig believes that a calorie-restricting approach to weight loss might not necessarily be the best approach to dieting.
An endocrinologist (hormone expert) at Boston Children’s Hospital and professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Ludwig recently made headlines with the release of his latest book, Always Hungry?
In Always Hungry? Dr. Ludwig argues that “it’s the type of calorie you consume more than simply the number that makes you fat”. This debunking of calorie-restriction has been hugely controversial in the US, as most dietary experts - including the esteemed U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention –have been advocating the benefits of a low-calorie diet for the best part of four decades.
As Dr. Ludwig explained to Runner’s World, “the calorie in/calorie out model works for a toaster oven, but humans aren't machines. The fundamental problem in obesity isn't too many calories stored in fat, it's too few in the blood stream, where it will be available to fuel the body’s needs. When we cut back calories on a conventional low-fat diet, we only make this situation worse, creating a battle between mind and metabolism that we're destined to lose.”
The focus has to be on developing long-term healthy eating patterns. And according to Dr. Ludwig the low-cal, low-fat approach isn’t the way to go. Instead, the answer lies in reducing the amount of processed foods that we eat that are high in sugar and saturated fats.
With more than 63 per cent of Australians now classified as overweight, there’s little doubt that the foods we are eating are contributing to the obesity epidemic. The fundamental problem with the modern diet according to Ludwig is that it ignores biology, and that the highly processed foods that many calorie-counters eat in place of fat are actually making us heavier.
Always Hungry? makes the argument that a major problem with the modern diet is an excess of high glycemic foods like sugar, refined grains and other processed carbohydrates.
So what are the three foods that he recommends that we all avoid?
First cab off the rank is white potatoes. While sweet potatoes are okay due to the fact that they raise blood sugar much less and are rich in other nutrients.
The second types of food to steer clear off are those highly processed grains that are rich in carbohydrates but offer little nutritional value, such as breads, white rice, and cereals.
And last, but certainly not least, we’ve have to cut back on added sugars, including soft drinks, fruit juices and low-fat dairy products.